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Report from High court

category dublin | bin tax / household tax / water tax | news report author Wednesday September 24, 2003 14:42author by Chekov - WSM & anti-bin tax campaign Report this post to the editors

Judge refuses city council's application for blanket injunction

Just back from the high court where 12 named protestors were injuncted for blockading bin trucks. Although I wasn't in the courtroom myself, I did talk to several people who had been inside and their interpretation of events was uniform. The 12 undertook not to do the same again and the judge ruled that they had purged their contempt. The city council also sought to make their injunction permanent against blockading. Surprisingly the judge turned this down.

There was an extremely noisy protest outside the four courts, some 40-50 people held banners and placards which elicited a cacophony of horns from passing motorists. Judging from the noise, the campaign is more popular than ever; on several occasions I was forced to retreat inside the courthouse to continue converstations with people, you simply couldn't hear anything outside.

The city campaign was fully expecting that the judge would grant the council's application for a blanket injunction against people blockading trucks, but surprisingly judge Donovan refused, saying that the police cannot be 'judge and jury'. This is a great victory for the campaign. It means that the police can't arrest people on blockades, all they can do is take names and seek to injunct those named people to the high court. The implications of this decision are enormous. It represents the first time that the state has backed down in its attack on the bin tax campaign. It means that campaigners can continue to block trucks without fear of immediate arrest; it means that any further legal action against campaigners will require another high-court hearing, which could very quickly clog up the legal system.

Also, this morning we saw environment minister Cullen saying that all charges should be weight related, the first sign of the government backing down from their all out assault against the campaign. They have blinked, time for us to press ahead while they are on the back foot.

The protestors arrested yesterday in Fingal for contravening the blanket injunction that the state granted to Fingal county council last Wednesday are currently before the high court. Their cases have been adjourned until 2pm. Watch this space....

*NOTE: I am not a legal expert, so I could be mistaken in the implications of this ruling. If so could somebody please point it out.

author by Anonymouspublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Superb news indeed Chekov. As you say let us press ahead!

author by åsa - RTSpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

purging contempt.
it is odd a collocation as "mature democracy".
I commented on another article (do you call them threads as well? - where did that come from?)
that "mature democracy" falsely implies different phases of democracy from immature to decay.
Purging Contempt rather unfortuanetly brings to mind the massacres and genocides termed "purges" of the Stalinist Soviet Union.
Purging also refers to fasting, not eating, and slow sweating out of toxins and dirty particles.
Contempt is an odd word, (I'm sorry for my english I had a bad teacher) it is made from the union of two other words "con" and "tempt".
When De Valera led the Fianna Fail party in democracy and away from the illegal counter-democratic military grouping status they had been assigned by international diplomacy, he chose to purge his contempt for HMG by moving the oath of allegiance to the other side of the room, and making his oath upon the bible.

I like history.
Ireland your Swedish friends are with you!

author by conor (wsm personal capacity)publication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chekov: This is a great victory for the campaign. It means that the police can't arrest people on blockades, all they can do is take names and seek to injunct those named people to the high court. The implications of this decision are enormous. It represents the first time that the state has backed down in its attack on the bin tax campaign. It means that campaigners can continue to block trucks without fear of immediate arrest; it means that any further legal action against campaigners will require another high-court hearing, which could very quickly clog up the legal system.

>>>

me: Obviously agree that this is unexpected and very very welcome developemnet -

BUT remember there is still the Public Order act section 6 is "threatening and abusive behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace" section 8 "obstructing a guard" so don't forget they ALWAYS have those powers - none the less the fines are only 1500-3000 and I don't think a prision sentence has ever been impossed -

SO MUCH BETTER then a blanket injunction which gives judges carte blanche on fine or prison or when sentence served

Conor

Related Link: http://www.stopthebintax.com
author by Chekov - WSM & anti-bin tax campaignpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTE news is reporting that another 8 protestors have been served with injunctions arising from a blockade this morning in Harald's Cross. The full report is linked below. Fair play to the folk out in Harald's cross, any chance of a brief report here of what happened? It would be really useful for those areas who are planning more blockades if we could hear what happened on these blockades and know what we can expect from the state.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2003/0924/waste.html
author by Chekov - as above...publication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anti-bin charge protesters arrested yesterday in West Dublin were repeatedly warned that they were in breach of a court order before being taken into custody, gardai told the High Court today.

Anti-bin charge protesters arrested yesterday in West Dublin were repeatedly warned that they were in breach of a court order before being taken into custody, gardai told the High Court today.

A total of 12 people were arrested in Clonsilla and Blanchardstown yesterday during anti-bin charges protests. Nine of those held had their cases heard in the High Court today.

Mr Justice Daniel Herbert, presiding, heard that one of the nine had to be pulled from under a bin collection lorry after refusing to remove himself. A number of Garda witnesses also said that protesters in Fortlawn, Blanchardstown had initially agreed to stop impeding a bin lorry from moving and making collections. However, when the truck proceeded to another part of the estate protesters again stood or walked slowly in front of the truck. A sit-down protest then ensued, the court was told.

Mr Gerard Murray, Drumheath Drive; Mr John Daniel, Colepark Road, Ballyfermot; Mr Vincent Mannion, Sheepmore Close; Mr Brian McEntee, Huntstown Drive; Ms Tracy Duggan, Westhaven; Mr Stephen Finlay, Beechfield Drive, Littlepace; Ms Gina Ward, Huntstown Wood; Mr Alan Lee, Ashford Street, and Mr Hugh O'Connor, Whitechapel Grove, (all Dublin), were released from Garda custody yesterday after undertaking to return to court this morning.

Before proceedings began this morning Mr Justice Hibbert refused to hear the case against one of the 12 arrested at protests yesterday, Mr Matthew Wayne of 30 Ashford Street, Dublin 7. His case was due before a different court this morning but had been sent to the High Court.

The hearing continues this afternoon.

author by Mags - WCApublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 17:03author address author phone Phone: 087 9620940Report this post to the editors

Press Release

Political Show Trails Slammed

Today’s court decision by Judge Donovan challenging the right of Gardai to arrest residents on the assumption that they are aware of injunctions related to blockading bin lorries was today welcomed by Working Class Action (WCA).

Spokesperson Cieran Perry said "This court success represents a setback to those politicians who believe it is acceptable to seize ordinary people off their estates and imprison them for opposing undemocratic and unjust laws. However it is a minor victory; as in the past the government will merely change the law to suit their own political interests."

The WCA group, which is involved in the Anti Bin Tax campaign in the City Council area, also slammed the ongoing court cases against community and political activists as "political show trials staged to intimidate anyone who dares to oppose government diktats".

Joe Mooney, a community activist and member of Working Class Action, said today:

"Today 13 working class residents from the Cabra and Finglas areas were before the High Court in an attempt to intimidate them into refraining from blockading bin trucks. This is a blatant political show trial aimed at breaking the opposition of our communities to the Bin Tax and scaring off potential supporters by portraying ordinary people as extremists."

Mr Mooney continued,
"The courts and the politicians are instructing us to ‘play by the rules’. But for the past two years the establishment parties have used political sharp practise to introduce and increase the Bin Tax on Dublin City Council. In working class communities throughout the city up to 70% of people have peacefully refused to submit to this double taxation, simply by not paying. The Anti-Bin Tax campaign also beat Fingal Co. Council in the courts, legally forcing the authority to collect untagged bins. The government then introduced the so-called "Protection of the Environment Bill" to overturn the court decision and provide legal cover for their assault on non-paying residents. This process is now playing itself out in the courts. And they have the cheek to attack our campaign as ‘undemocratic’!"

He concluded,
"Today alone up to two dozen activists are before different courts as the legal system and its political masters strive to put ordinary people - residents, parents, community activists - behind bars merely for demanding that the bin trucks collect ALL the refuse bins in our estates."

[ENDS]

Related Link: http://www.geocities.com/wcaireland
author by Chekovpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 17:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just back from the high court again and it appears that my above summary of the high court judgement is slightly inaccurate.

The judge did grant the injunction. He refused to grant an attachment which would have given the Gardai the power to arrest people on blockades (this was granted to Fingal CC). The practical effect of this is exactly as outlined above - the guards can only take names on blockades and then injunct people to the high court (accepting conor's proviso above that they can always use the public order act - aka the 'everything is illegal' act).

The lawyer for the defence in the case of the Fingal activists is currently arguing that, given the judgement this morning refusing the attachment to Dublin city council, the earlier attachment granted to Fingal CC is erroneous and should not be allowed to stand.

Watch this space....

author by Chekovpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In another huge boost for the campaign all 9 protestors who were in the high court today walked free from court. The state backs down again!

This is from RTE's website:

The High Court has dismissed Fingal County Council's application to have nine people jailed for breaching court orders relating to the obstruction of waste collection.

Mr Justice Herbert said there was doubt as to whether each of these people knew they were in breach of court orders.

He expressed concerns about the order made by another High Court judge last Friday directing the Gardaí to arrest anyone obstructing waste collection in Fingal.

author by John Throne - Labors Militant Voice.publication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 21:13author email loughfinn at aol dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Solidarity from Chicago, Illinois.

To the brothers and Sisters in the anti bin charge movement in Ireland and to Joe and Clare.

On behalf of Direct Action Network - Labor, Chicago, I would like to send our solidarity to the anti bin charge movement and to Joe and Clare. You are part of the international struggle to confront and defeat the offensive of capitalism which is trying to reduce the direct wage and the social wage of working people internationally, which is trying to make us work and live in a totally polluted environment, and all this to increase the already enormous wealth of the capitalists internationally. Thank you for your struggle on this front and your inspiration to us all. If we can inflict a few defeats on the bosses offensive then we can change the situation around. We hope that your battle will be victorius, that Joe and Clare will be released immediately by the pressure of solidarity. It is a clear demonstration of how the system works that Joe and Clare are in prison and Haughey and his criminal buddies are still in their mansions. The Irish consulate here in Chicago will be informed that your struggle and Joe and Clare have friends and solidarity in this part of the world. John Throne.

Related Link: http://laborsmilitantvoice.com,movementsforsocialism.com
author by john throne - labors militant voicepublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 01:02author email loughfinn at aol dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

TO ALL INVOLVED IN BIN TAX STRUGGLE

I'm writing on behalf of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) in Toronto, Canada, to express our support and solidarity for Joe Higgins and Clare Daly and all the sisters and brothers on the front lines of the fight against the Irish Bin Tax.

This tax is a classic component of the international drive to transfer wealth from poor and working people and hand it over to those who already have the lion's share. The burden of maintaining services is placed
squarely on the shoulders of those with the least. By taking a stand on this question, you are not only defending your own communities but striking a blow against a whole international agenda that the banks and corporations want to impose. Thanks so much for your courage and determination.

They have now tried to silence and intimidate you by putting Clare and Joe in jail. I have never had the privilege of meeting Clare but I have met Joe and, based on this, I haven't the slightest doubt that they are out of their minds if they think they are going to stop you in this way. Any attempts to shut our organization down with serious charges and the use of
prison terms has only made us stronger and I'm sure that is true for you because the struggle is far too important and the cause far too just to abandon.

Please pass onto Clare and Joe our warmest words of support and assure them we are with them. Don't let them stop you and keep on fighting like you mean to win.

In solidarity,
John Clarke, Organizer
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

author by john throne - labors militant voicepublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 02:56author email loughfinn at aol dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Comrades, Sisters and Brothers, on behalf of Labors Militant Voice, I am sending you our solidarity in your struggle against the bin charges. As far as we understand this is a struggle against the capitalist offensive which in every continent is trying to cut direct wages, cut the social wage, privatise public services, all with a view to increase the power and wealth of the capitalist class.

We believe that the key task facing working class people is to halt and throw back this offensive. The rising movement against capitalist globalization, the 20 million plus who marched on Febuary 15th against the war in Iraq, and the local struggles such as yours against the bin charges are part of the preparations of the working class to defeat this offensive.

We would like to thank you for the inspiration of your strugle, the courage of your activists, and the lessons that you are helping us all to learn. We send you our solidarity and support.

We echo your call for the release of Joe Higgins and Clare Daly and the other anti bin charge fighters who have been arrested. The swindlers and criminals who have been stealing everything that is not nailed down in the Irish state over the past decades still live in their mansions having never seen the inside of a jail, meanwhile working class fighters are imprisoned.

We are sending this message of support and our call for the release of all bin charge prisoners to the addresses you have provided. As well as this the Irish consulates here in the USA and Canada will be hearing from us.

On behalf of Labors Militant Voice based in the USA and Canada.

John Throne on behalf of Labors militant Voice.
Labors Militant Voice is a revolutionary socialist group with a base in the USA and Canada.

author by Press Release - Fingal County Councilpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

PRESS STATEMENT FROM
FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL

Fingal County Council is pleased to announce that normal refuse collection service has been restored to 60,000 homes in the Fingal area. Five of the six electoral areas in Fingal have had their normal rubbish collection and we have also completed clearing any backlog created by the protesters in these areas.

These areas include Balbriggan, Swords, Howth, Malahide, Portmarnock, Skerries and Castleknock.

Service continues to be disrupted for approximately 4,500 homes, primarily in the Mulhuddart area. We are aware from the high volume of calls to our Environment Department that the majority of residents in this area have tagged their bin and are requesting a service. We apologise to these residents for the disruption which is beyond our control.

We would appeal to these residents to contact either their local residents association or Fingal County Council with suggestions has to how full refuse collection might be restored. In the meantime, every effort is being made to continue collecting as many bins as possible in the Mulhuddart area.

We would like to advise these residents that they can dispose of their rubbish in our landfill in Balleally, Lusk. The charge per car is €8 and we will reimburse them with a bin tag worth €5 for future use. We would also encourage any residents who are eligible for a waiver to apply as soon as possible. The approximate turn around time for processing applications is 2 weeks.

ENDS++

author by qpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that people would avoid tax, learn about recycling issues funding and techniques and then go about keeping their excretea, urine and clippings in black plastic bags appears to fade...

Q. Oh the British what did they ever do for us?
A. they encouraged sanitation.

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